Picture courtesy of David Forward.
Confucius he say - "man not taking prescription painkillers could still be taking Mono Amine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)" - which are not a "prescription painkiller". A wise old bird Confucius, 2.650 years old today.
10 Downing Street are complaining bitterly today that Gordon was 'Marred' by Andrew Marr raising a matter of genuine public interest during his televised interview on Sunday morning.
Gordon tackled the question in typical politician style, by ignoring the heart of the question and picking up on a fringe enquiry which he could turn to his (supposed) advantage.
Andrew Marr If you were an American president, we would know all about your medical history. You were asked in the States about your eyesight, and I think the reason you were asked is because people were wondering whether that would be a reason for standing down at some point. Let me ask you about something else everybody has been talking about – a lot of people … use prescription painkillers and pills to help them get through. Are you one of those?
Gordon Brown No. I think this is the sort of questioning that is …
Andrew Marr It's a fair question, I think.
Gordon Brown … is all too often entering the lexicon of British politics. I have had very serious problems with my eye. I lost my eyesight playing rugby. I had three major operations and they could not save my sight. I then had exactly the same thing happen to my second eye … and every year, of course, I have to check, as I did only a few days ago, that my eyesight is good and there has been absolutely no deterioration in my eyesight, and I think people should be absolutely clear that although …
Andrew Marr What about my other question?
Gordon Brown I answered your other question. Although I have problems with my eyes and it has been very difficult over the years, I think people understand that you can do a job and you can work hard. And I think it would be a terrible indictment of our political system if you thought that because someone had this medical issue they couldn't do the job. So, Andrew, I think these questions … of course you might be right to ask them, but … I feel that I have done everything to show people that I can do the job even with the handicap that I've had as a result of a rugby injury.
The Guardian this morning is reporting that "The claims have mainly been reported by Paul Staines, the man behind the Guido Fawkes website, [...]Guido Fawkes congratulated the BBC with the words "Bravo Marr". Actually No, they weren't. John Ward's report was first read in its entirety on the Old Holborn site. Guido only commented on the story when the blogosphere was already alive with rumours.
Gordon Brown’s aides last night said they were amazed that despite issuing denials to an Internet rumour in recent weeks, specifically to the BBC, Mr Marr went ahead and still asked the question.
Lord Mandelson accused "extreme right-wing" figures on the Internet for spreading rumours about Mr Brown's health, adding it was "absolutely ridiculous" to suggest the PM had a problem with pill use, and blamed politically motivated bloggers for raising the possibility.
"We have seen out there on the Internet, the blogosphere, all these extreme right-wing people trying to put these smears and rumours about, all completely groundless," he said.
"People will now know that he has had a rough time and battled to save the sight in one eye and lost it in the other as a result of the rugby accident.
"But to jump from that to say that he has got some sort of dependency or addiction is absolutely ridiculous.
The only people who are making the leap from rumours of a dependency on heavy duty anti-depressants to a sad accident to Gordon's eye are - 10 Downing Street.
The rest of us are making the leap from a blog post specifically claiming a dependency on heavy duty anti-depressants to a series of evasive answers on a matter of legitimate public interest.
The more they wriggle, the more interesting the question becomes.
Cross posted by request from - Anna Raccoon